Does Sucralose Affect Your DIY e-Liquid Flavor?
Sweetener, or Sucralose, is a widely used DIY e-liquid enhancer that infuses your mixes with a tremendous amount of sweetness. It’s also not just used to sweeten, but also to boost the flavor and presence of a mix. But it doesn’t come without side effects. Using sweetener can have an effect on your mix, both positive and negative. And more importantly, the different levels of sweetener can have different pronounced effects. In the video above, I discuss in length, what effects are present at 0.5%, 1%, & 2% Super Sweet solutions. NOTE: The sweetener I’m using is CAP Super Sweet which is ~10% Sucralose dilution with some citric acid.
This is the most common concentration of sucralose in DIY. It’s also what I personally use in my own mixes. To me, it brings a very noticeable jump in flavor, without adding too much of a “sweet” flavor. I like to keep the integrity of the recipe and the flavorings I use in my mixes, and anything that distracts from that is a negative, in my own opinion. 0.5% adds just enough presence and boost to the saturation, without distracting. There is, however, a light sweetener flavor on the finish. So it’s not completely invisible. But overall, it doesn’t change the accuracy and authenticity of the flavorings used. Meaning, any flavor that has a “natural” taste to it, will remain so, with just a slight boost in saturation. This is the option I think most people should be using.
This is where things start to get tricky. There is certainly a big boost in flavor & presence. The fruits in the recipe just seem to jump out much more compared to 0.5%. But now we’re starting to see a bit of a distraction from the “naturalism” and “authenticity” of the flavorings. They are starting to take on much more of a “candy” like flavor, losing much of the natural integrity they once contained. There’s also a bit more of that artificial “sugar” flavor, reminiscent of chemicals, on the finish. It’s not bad, though. I imagine if you’re someone with an RDA/Tank that doesn’t accentuate flavor well and you’re looking for a flavorful vape experience, 1% is an option for you. Just know you’re starting to lose the “realness” of the recipe.
Finally, the “industry standard”. 2% is mainly used in commercial e-liquids, and is the cause for so many to start making their own e-liquids (to get away from the insane amount of sweetener)! Right off the bat, I want to say that 2% is obscene. It’s just far too much sweetener. Almost all the authenticity, accuracy, and naturalism is lost in the profile, and you’re basically turned your e-liquid into sweet candy. There’s also such a lack of depth and flavor stage, that the profile takes on a linear, syrup like flavor. Lastly, as the coil starts to dry, that chemical off-note becomes unbearably present.
The reason it’s so popular in commercial e-liquid, is because it hides the flaws of a recipe, allowing for easy and quick development. But also, it allows the liquid to be tasted in a much wider variety of devices. Any RDA/Tank with terrible flavor and wide open airflow, will be able to render a sweet, flavorful experience. For some, 2% may be the only way they can actually get some flavor out of their crappy RDA. This is unfortunate, but it is a reality.
To put it simply, if you’re looking to greatly increase the presence of your mix, and want to add a touch more sweetness to the overall profile, 0.5% is the perfect starting point. If you’re using a device that may be lacking in flavor output, consider jumping up to 0.75%. Only jump up to 1% if you’re ready to sacrifice some of the authenticity & accuracy of your recipe, for some gained saturation. And only move up to 2% if you’re RDA is complete trash, and you want to vape the equivalent of melted candy, with no dimension, depth, accuracy, & authenticity.